Two Who Trek does a lot of international travel, but we also journey in the states, too. Together we’ve been in about 30 states; separately, one of us has been in 46 states. But today’s story is about a short voyage last Sunday.
We trekked on I-69 to the small town of Olivet, Michigan, to hear the Olivet Community Schools “Holiday Musical Celebration”. The concert is different than most school performances that we’ve heard before. For starters, all the different grade bands, except for the fifth grade, are arranged on the floor of the huge high school gymnasium. The spectators sit in bleachers surrounding three sides of the gym, with a second level of seating on one side.
Bands include the high school band (with over 100 members), the high school jazz band, and the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade bands. The fifth grade plays first, in the space reserved for the eighth grade band. The fifth graders then join their parents in the stands as the eighth graders file in while the jazz band plays. Altogether, there are over 350 performers on the gym floor at any one time.
The bands alternate their performances, with ensembles and soloists playing on a corner stage while the lone band director moves to the next area. A segment of the program has this order:
- Eighth grade band
- High school brass quintet
- Seventh grade band
- Sixth grade horn and baritone ensemble
- High school band
- Eighth grade alto saxophone ensemble
- Sixth grade band
- And so forth
Altogether there are 38 different works performed, all with the no repeat guarantee.
While all bands are very good for their age level, the high school band has awesome performances. They have won first place in every competition for the last couple of years, often competing in classifications reserved for much larger schools. The sound is phenomenal. Here is an example of their work from this concert (the sound is good, although the video is dark. You might want to just listen as you read the rest of this post):
So why is this special to Two Who Trek? The concert is the only time that three of Joe’s grandsons will be playing in the same concert. Additionally, Joe helped set up for the performance the day before, stringing lights, moving chairs, and finding out how hard it is to move a timpani drum – and he moved several across the school.
From there, we went to Marshall, MI to enjoy supper in a restaurant that has been in the same spot for 103 years. Afterward we toured the town in the light rain, enjoying Christmas decorations like this:
Today’s adventure is not grand, but it certainly was enjoyable. We’ll get back to the Cuenca preparations in the next post!